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 Victor Harbor is a favourite scuba diving, snorkeling, underwater photography destination and holiday destination for many Adelaide residents, who enjoy the relaxed atmosphere, lovely countryside and the rugged seashore.

Home to one of South Australia’s most famous underwater attractions the leafy Sea Dragon this area and the jetty has some really interesting marine life.

One of the most popular attractions at Victor Harbor is Granite Island, which is situated just offshore, in Encounter Bay.

The historic Screwpile Jetty links the island to the mainland  you can either walk across, or catch a ride on a horse-drawn tram. Rock wallabies and little penguins can be seen on the island, and sometimes dramatic sea spray, as massive swells crash into the island.

Granite Isl.Victor harbour

Open rugged shoreline around Victor Harbor makes the entire area weather dependant for diving.
( photo: Neville Coleman)

There are plenty of interesting dive sites and marine creatures around Victor Harbor. Although the sea is not always rough, diving is weather-dependent. If a southerly is blowing, divers generally head for nearby Rapid Bay, but northerly winds calm the seas, especially during autumn. Servicing the Victor Harbor area are Victor Dive Charters and Victor Marine and Watersport.

Port Elliot

A variety of interesting reefs are found around the rocky shores of Port Elliot. Ledges and gutters in depths varying from 10-20 m can be accessed from the rocks. Along the bottom are sea stars, nudibranchs, sweep, leatherjackets, boxfish, wrasse, morwong, abalone, leafy sea dragons, rock lobsters and bullseyes.

Phycodurus eques

Although Leafy Sea Dragons  Phycodurus eques can be found in many locations around the reefs of Victor Harbour, they are almost always present in the kelp forests around the corner from the jetty. ( photo: Neville Coleman)

Olivers Reefs and Whale Bone Caves

These two reefs in Encounter Bay offer a range of diving possibilities, at depths from 8-12 m. Thick kelp covers much of the bottom, where you are likely to see leafy sea dragons, rock lobsters, abalone and a range of reef fish and invertebrate species.

Uniophora granifera

Sometimes, the Granulated Sea Star Uniophora granifera has blue topped granules along its arms. ( photo: Neville Coleman)

Granite Island

Granite Island can be dived from the shore, but there are more interesting sites to be explored by boat. On the southern side are boulders tumbling down to 15 m, which shelter blue devilfish, boarfish, perch, sweep and the elusive black cowry.

Aplysilla rosea

Found on the shady sides of reefs, under rocks and on deeper water reefs, the Rosy Sponge Aplysilla rosea is common right around Australia. It can be seen as encrusting sheets , or as the form shown here. There are a number of species of Chromodorid nudibranchs which feed on this sponge.
( photo: Neville Coleman) 

Seal Rocks

Huge granite boulders surround Seal Rocks in depths down to 25 m. Sponges, gorgonians, zoanthids, bryozoans and ascidians are found around the island, along with morwong, Port Jackson sharks, rock lobsters, yellowtail, kingfish and plenty of reef fish.

Aracana ornata

The female Ornate Boxfish Aracana ornata can be separated from the male by the fact that the male has blue spots and an orange tail with blue patterning.
( photo: Neville Coleman)

The Bluff

Probably the most popular shore dive at Victor Harbour is The Bluff. Among the boulders down to 18 m are leafy sea dragons, abalone, rock lobsters, sea stars, blue devilfish, morwong, boxfish, globefish, sweep and sometimes a fur seal.

Jetty Victor harbour

 The jetty can be a very good dive with stacks of sessile invertebrates and it gives some shelter when the swells roll in. On calm days the kelp covered reefs around the corner are inhabited by a number of Leafy Sea Dragons.
( photo: Neville Coleman)

 Serpula sp.

A common resident of rocky reefs and jetties along the southern coasts is the brightly coloured little Red and White Tube Worm Serpula sp. At this point in time ( although the species covers a wide area) it still remains undescribed.
( photo: Neville Coleman) 

Ecklonia radiata

When you have swum in and around a thousand swaying Kelp Forests of Ecklonia radiata and been thawarted to find all of the many creatures which hide amongst it, the novelty rubs off a bit. However, it is the presence this very brown algae that has led to the evolution of a large number of our most unique species.
( photo: Neville Coleman) 

Culicia hoffmeisteri

Generally found under shady ledges, in caves, along shaded drop offs and under rocks, Hoffmeisters Coral Culicia hoffmeisteri is a common species found right around Australia, in shallow and deep water. It feeds mostly on plankton and the corallites grow to around 6 mm across.
( photo: Neville Coleman)

West Island

Although rarely visited by local divers, West Island is worth the trip. Surrounded by deep reefs, covered with kelp, the deep caves and fissures are alive with colour, and are home to gorgonians, sponges, ascidians and an occasional black cowry. The island has a small New Zealand fur seal colony, a little penguin colony and flocks of crested terns and silver gulls.

Port Macdonnell   Mount Gambier   Adelaide

Kangaroo Island   Yorke Peninsula   Spencer Gulf   Port Lincoln

Eyre Peninsula – Great Australian Bight

( Copyright Neville Coleman/Nigel Marsh)

Victor Harbour Information

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